Monday, 24 November 2014

Accepting the more uncomfortable emotions.



Emotions can be a tricky field to navigate, for both men and women. I think it can take time for all of us to get a good grip of how to handle them. Maybe it’s their lack of logic, or their varying strength that can catch us off guard. But they have a remarkable ability to make us uncomfortable and embarrassed and just be a general pain to deal with.

Happiness is ok though, right? We accept happiness with open arms, almost begging it to continue coming in abundance. The rest however, definitely seem to exude less appeal. Who wants anger, fear or even worse, sadness?

Anger is one that has been a struggle for me along the way, and I know I’m not alone in that. I just didn’t know what to do with it or where it was coming from. It’s an emotion with a fiery energy, an explosive potential which of course can be scary. But it’s also like it has gotten bad press, we just don’t want to be associated with it and we can nearly feel guilty for even having angry feelings. But, like all emotions it’s a signal, it’s a natural reaction. It comes from the same internal system as happiness yet for some reason causes more unease than welcome.

What I’ve learnt (however slowly), is that suppressing it absolutely will not help. You can’t walk around being numb to your emotions, contrary to what you may like to be, you are not a robot. If something irritates you, express it. Get it out by whatever means works for you, even if you need to find a punch-bag or go out for a sprint.

The thing about anger is that it presents as energy and it’s up to you how you utilize that. Just remember that if you store it in the pit of your stomach and let it fester, it will inevitably explode. So find the methods that allow you to express it in a healthy manner; talk it out, write about it, do breathing exercises, or even scream into a pillow.

Sadness- Ugh sadness! This is definitely an uncomfortable one. I don’t want to look weak, vulnerable nor out of control and that’s what sadness would infer isn’t it? A certain vulnerability or sensitivity that I don’t want connected with me. As if I can escape it; none of us can by the way.

It’s a natural response to life’s experiences and it’s about time we stop avoiding it. It’s not embarrassing to get upset, but yeah I know that discomfort can arise. Irrespective of whatever we’ve been told growing up, in society or even what we assume others think, it’s worth believing that crying is not weak. It doesn’t mean you lack composure, it doesn’t mean you’re childish or ‘overly emotional’. In fact, it’s necessary and therapeutic. It’s the same as knowing that if we were tired, we’d go to sleep. If we get upset, crying is the answer. Regardless how much mascara may run, or man points you’re afraid of losing, you’ve got to let it out. And you will feel better after.

Fear- Being fearless has an attractive sound to it, an impression of confidence, of control and strength. But how often is that genuine? Fear comes into all of our lives in different doses, big or small it can just creep right in. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s great about fear is that it gives you something to overcome. You can meet it as a challenge and show it that you aren’t going to allow it to cripple you. At various stages, fear has ruled me and prevented me from living life to the fullest, but I now know that it’s actually just a feeling stemming from false evidence that appears real.

And you can change feelings; you can embrace them, conquer them and turn them into another feeling. Fear may be overwhelming but it’s within your power to rationalize it out and quite often realize that the cause of the fear wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought.

From someone who has engaged a litany of coping mechanisms to avoid feeling how rubbish I was feeling, I can assure you, allowing emotions to flow freely is a great step in feeling better. It doesn’t mean you’re not strong; it doesn’t affect the tough armor you may be wearing. Emotions tell us what’s going on inside, because as much as we can try preoccupy our minds, everything continues to get processed internally. Bottling it up or downing a bottle to drown it out, is not gonna do you any favors.

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